MARLBOROUGH PATCH — Do you know the fascinating history behind that bell on Union Common in Marlborough?
The John Brown Bell is considered the second most important bell in history (The Liberty Bell being first on this hierarchy of bells). Whether you know it or not, be sure to catch WCVB-TV’s Chronicle’s feature on this important, and controversial, piece of history right in the city.
As the story goes, the bell was originally in Harpers Ferry, VA, but in 1859 abolitionist John Brown took the bell as part of a raid on the armory. He did not succeed, as Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee came in with his men. Brown and ten others were hanged for murder and treason. A Marlborough unit in the Union Army two years later grabbed the bell again from Harpers Ferry Armory during a seizure, and the War Department gave them permission to keep it.
Someone once did try to steal the bell back, said a historian in the Chronicle, piece, but “they failed.”
Watch the episode of Chronicle, which starts with a spotlight on Beacon Hill.
This article by Charlene Arsenault originally appeared here.